I obtained a Capital One VISA card because they claim not to charge any fee when their credit cards are used outside of the US, and I frequently travel internationally. I used this VISA card occasionally. About three weeks ago I noticed by chance that the mailing address and telephone number on my account had been changed. Since I did not request the change, I telephoned Capital One to reverse the change and to find out who had requested the change. Capital One’s CSR told me that the change was requested by the US Post Office. I could not fathom why the Post Office would or was able to change my credit card address.
Nevertheless, I asked the address on my account be changed back to the original correct address. The CSR assured me that the address has been corrected. Two days later, when I tried to use the VISA card, I found out that the address has not been corrected. So I telephoned Capital One again. This whole process repeated for five times before the address on my account was corrected to the original address. I thought the problem was finally resolved. How wrong I was!
A week later, the VISA card was rejected again when I tried to make a purchase. In addition, my online access to the account was frozen as well. I can’t view any information online. I can’t even make a payment to Capital One to pay off my current balance online. I telephoned Capital One again several times and was told that their Fraud Department was “concerned” over “certain activities” on my account and therefore, has placed an “identity restriction” on my account. I asked them what were these suspicious activities. The CSR said she could not tell me unless I could prove to them my identity and get the restriction lifted. To get this restriction lifted, I must fax them my driver’s license, my social security card, and my most-recent bank statement. I told them the request sounded very suspicious and I would never fax these documents over. Instead, I asked them to close the account and cancelled the VISA card. The CSR said the account couldn’t be closed because there was still a balance. I said I would pay off the balance immediately online, as I have always done in the past. The CSR said she could not let me pay off the balance online until I fax them those documents to get the restriction lifted. The CSR suggested that I could pay off the balance using their automatic phone system. However, the system will charge a $10 fee, which will be charged to my VISA account. So that defeats the whole purpose paying off the current balance. The only other alternative is to send Capital One a check via regular mail.
Overall, I spoke to about 20 people from Capital One during a two-week period, ranging from regular customer service representatives to supervisors to Fraud Department personnel. Most people don’t have a clue how to answer any of my questions. At least 75% of the people have such heavy accent that I could not understand what they were saying. Toward the second week I grew more and more suspicious of Capital One, and so I would call multiple times but ask for the same information. Not to my surprise, each time I got a different answer. For example, each time I asked for the fax number where I’m supposed to fax over my driver’s license, social security card, and bank statement, I get a different fax number. Similarly, each time I asked for the address to send in my payment, I get a different address, which is also different from the address given at Capital One’s website. At the moment, I very much suspect it is Capital One who is trying to get my personal and financial information all this time.